Warning for UK-licensed operators in UKGC’s call for greater collaboration between international gambling regulators

Following on quickly from his keynote speech at the 4th Annual KnowNow Conference, Gambling Commission Executive Director, Tim Miller, has delivered a speech at the IAGR Conference 2021, entitled ‘Regulatory Disruption: The case for international collaboration’ (that you can download below).

His speech was primarily focused on a desire for increased collaboration and co-operation between international gambling regulators, but it nevertheless contained important messages for UK licensed gambling operators, including the following:

Through the escalation of our Compliance and Enforcement work, we are making clear to operators that our expectations of them remain unchanged and we will not tolerate the risk of them being distracted in their compliance with our regulatory standards by their emerging overseas ventures. The resource pressures that undoubtedly come from a program of commercial expansion overseas would not be accepted as a mitigating factor for failures domestically.

UPDATE: On 17 December 2021, the Gambling Commission announced that it had won the ‘IAGR Regulatory Excellence Award’, stating as follows on its website:

We are delighted to announce that the Commission has been awarded the Regulatory Excellence Award as part of the 2021 International Regulatory Awards, run by the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR).

The award, judged by a panel of fellow gambling regulators and independent experts, was for our Industry Challenges initiative where we called on the gambling industry to collaborate with the us on three areas of concern where rapid progress was needed to protect consumers from the risk of harm. Those areas were:

  • incentives for High Value Customers, or VIP schemes
  • game and Product Design
  • and the use of Ad-tec to target advertising away from children, young people and vulnerable adults.

The judges were impressed with the results achieved and the high levels of engagement with the industry which resulted in a variety of regulatory actions – including stamping out irresponsible VIP practices, making games safer by design, and a number of actions around ad-tech.

Additionally, we can also announce that our Director of Research, Ben Haden, has been appointed as the Vice Chairman of IAGR. Ben takes up his post immediately and will be responsible for developing strategy for IAGR and the programme for the IAGR conference to be held in Australia next year.